April 30, 2015

Media Advisory – Nepalese Student Availability

A Southern Illinois University Carbondale student directly affected by last weekend’s earthquake in Nepal is available to speak with members of the media about the impact of the quake. 

Nikesh Maharjan, a master’s student in physics, is from the capital city of Kathmandu, Nepal, near the epicenter of the earthquake. About a dozen members of three related families live with Maharjan in a brick home located on an outer road surrounding the city. When the quake struck, about two dozen family members had gathered on the side of the building that Maharjan’s aunt lives in for a special celebration. 

Maharjan said the timing of the celebration was fortuitous.  His family and that of another aunt who also lives in the building were all attending the celebration. While the entire building, including the portion where the celebration was held, suffered major damage, the side Maharjan lives on with his parents and family was totally destroyed. All family members are uninjured but the home is unsafe for habitation. The extended family has now taken shelter in tents on the grounds of a nearby school. 

Maharjan will be available to speak to interested reporters, photographers or news crews about the situation in his homeland and relief efforts locally during tonight’s candlelight vigil and memorial, which starts at 7 p.m. at the fountain in front of Faner Hall. He also may be reached by email at nikesh.2008@siu.edu or by calling 618/303-8135. 

The Nepalese Students Society of Carbondale, a registered student organization, has created an Earthquake Relief Fund at Old National Bank in Carbondale (account number 128220963) and is collecting donations on campus as well as direct donations at the bank and through a Go Fund Me Account, online at http://www.gofundme.com/swysjc. All funds will go to non-profit organizations and vetted relief and recovery efforts.